Part of the Irvington NY PTSA’s mission is to improve students’ educational experiences, connect our community, ensure equal access to education, and advocate for change. This includes working at the local district level, as well as advocacy efforts at both the State and Federal levels as well, especially regarding funding and resources.
The PTSA’s Executive Committee has developed this guide to help our members discover ways in which they can get involved in ensuring a successful, equitable and safe re-opening of schools this fall. Get involved with those options below that speak to you. Make your voice heard.
Get the Facts
Federal, state and local agencies have put out guidelines that dictate the rules behind the plan for re-opening Irvington schools. You can read more about those guidelines and plans here:
Join an Upcoming Meeting with Local Decision Makers
The District and School Leadership teams are offering a number of open community forums in the next few weeks to answer questions and solicit feedback on re-opening plans. Consider joining one or more of these events to hear directly from your local leaders.
Reach Out Directly to Decision Makers
Decisions about IUFSD, our school budget, schedules and instructional models happen at several levels. Any given decision you want to influence or understand more deeply may require that you reach out to a number of decision makers. Below is a list of individuals or groups who you can contact via email to express your opinions and amplify your voice.
Irvington Unified Free School District-Level Leadership
Here are some organizations that advocate on behalf of their members with decision makers:
Irvington NY PTSA Leadership
Irvington Faculty Association, our local teacher's union
NY State PTA Leadership
Connect with Your Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
Not sure you want to reach out directly to decision makers? The PTSA’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meets monthly at each school where representatives from the PTSA discuss current issues with the principals. If you have a question or concern you can contact your grade parent or school VP. You can choose to remain anonymous and meeting minutes are published on the PTSA website.
Influence State and Federal Policy Makers
Local school decision making is influenced by state and federal policy. Here are some ways you can influence that policy today and in the future:
Organize for Change Locally
The PTSA sponsors a number of committees, each focused on advocating for a better future for Irvington schools. Each committee has been tackling a variety of issues related to re-opening. To learn more about upcoming opportunities to attend committee meetings or volunteer to support active initiatives, visit each Committee’s page on our website.
Volunteer in Our Schools
Did you know that the Irvington NY PTSA is the largest volunteer organization in the village? While many of our typical volunteering opportunities are on hold while reopening plans are finalized, we have created a new form where you can opt-in to future volunteering opportunities. Fill it out now, and we’ll reach out as our plans finalize. Even if we don’t manage to hold any events this year, we want to get to know you!
One initiative we’re going to be working hard on is expanding the Walking School Bus. Walking School Bus volunteers walk Dows Lane students to school. Typically, parent volunteers have students at Dows Lane, but if we don’t have enough who can volunteer, we’ll be looking to parents of older children to help out. By participating in the Walking School Bus, children cut down on potential contact points, learn to walk safely, and get exercise before school. Please click here to learn more or sign up to help with Walking School Bus.
Donate to Support Programs and Initiatives
The PTSA funds a number of programs and initiatives in our schools in normal years. This year is not normal; now more than ever we need your support. General donations to the PTSA go straight back to supporting your children in school through grants. Donations to the Bulldog Family Fund go directly to support families with financial need. Your donations are the lifeblood of our organization and anything you can give is greatly appreciated. Please consider donating today by clicking here.
Become a PTSA Member
Becoming a member of the Irvington NY PTSA is a great way to show your support for our local community. We offer membership options for families and staff. Members receive a copy of our annual Directory, featuring contact information for students and families. This makes it easy to stay in touch, even if your child is not attending class on the same day as their friend.
Stay in the Know
As plans for the 2020-21 school year evolve, you can count on the PTSA to share updates, announcements and important news to our community. You can stay in the know by bookmarking our blog, subscribing to our email newsletter, and following us on Facebook and Instagram.
It is also a great idea to sign up for the newsletters sent by the Village, the District, and your child's school if you don't already receive them.